Harold Jacobs

Dr. Harold Joseph Jacobs, Jr.

Lafayette - Harold Jacobs, age 90, a resident of Lafayette, died Thursday, December 19th, 2013 at Lafayette General Hospital. A celebration of his life will be held Monday, December 23rd at Delhomme Funeral Home at 1011 Bertrand Drive at 1pm. Visitation will precede the celebration from 11am to 1pm.

Harold was born in New Orleans, LA in 1923. He graduated from Lockport High School at the age of 15 in 1939. He completed his bachelor's degree at LSU in Baton Rouge in 1942. He then entered LSU School of Medicine and completed his medical degree in 1945.

In 1946, he joined the US Army Air Corps (which later became the US Air Force). He was assigned to the Aeromedical Laboratory in Dayton, OH, (then Patterson Air Force Base) where he became the project officer for the development of the first partial pressure suit. During his work on this project, he became the first person in the world to attain a simulated altitude of over 100,000 feet (simulated because there were no airplanes capable of flying that high at the time). Harold indoctrinated Captain "Chuck" Yeager (pilot of the XS-1 rocket plane to break the sound barrier) in the use of the pressure suit. He also demonstrated the pressure suit to Air Force notables, among whom were Charles Lindbergh and Jimmy Doolittle.

In 1948, Harold began a residency at New Orleans Charity Hospital in internal medicine and cardiology. It was there that he met Nell Morris, who was a nurse at Charity Hospital. They married in January 1950.

Harold began his practice of medicine in Lafayette in 1951 and became the first physician in Lafayette to achieve accreditation as Fellow of the American College of Physicians. In 1953, he became Director of Medical Education at DePaul Hospital in Norfolk, VA. There he established the first cardiac catheterization laboratory in Norfolk. Returning to Lafayette in 1954, he joined the staff of Lafayette Medical and Surgical group (later to become the Hamilton Medical Group). In 1958, he became the first physician in Lafayette to achieve accreditation as Fellow of The American College of Cardiology. He was Chief of Staff at Lafayette Sanitarium and later became Chief of Staff at Lafayette General Hospital. He was on the Board of Directors of the Louisiana , Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Lafayette General Hospital, Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and the Louisiana Chapter of American College of Physicians. He was President of Lafayette Parish Medical Society. In 1989, he received the coveted Laureate Award of the Louisiana Chapter of the American College of Physicians. Harold held the title of Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine of the Louisiana School of Medicine. In 1989, Harold retired from his medical practice. He also held the title of Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine of the Louisiana School of Medicine.

Harold was a proud member of the Rotary Club of Lafayette for over 60 years. He served as a member of the board, officer and Club President (1963-1964). Harold was honored as Rotarian of the Year in 1971-1972 for having spearheaded an exchange program for 160 teens from the Lafayette area to France. He was a Paul Harris Fellow and continued to be actively involved in many Rotary service projects.

Harold enjoyed many hobbies. He was very skilled at woodworking. He took great pride in the development and maintenance of his home. Together with Nell, they cultivated a love for landscaping to include orchids, roses, azaleas and many other plants at their beloved "Ponderosa". Harold also enjoyed refurbishing antique vehicles. He worked on both a 1917 American LaFrance fire engine and a 1930 Ford Model A Deluxe Coupe.

Harold is predeceased by his wife of 57 years, Nell Morris, his parents, Harold Jacobs, Sr., and Bernadette Millet Jacobs, and two of his sons, Harold Jacobs, III and Charles Jacobs. He is survived by three children and their spouses: Carl (Darlene) Jacobs of Aiken, SC, Julie (William) Harris of Hoover, AL, and Janelle (Clarence) Sprick of Kenner, LA; and one sister, Janet (Harry) Layne of Covington, LA. Nine grandchildren include: Heidi Jacobs (Wes McDonald) of Lafayette; Hayley (Dean) Simmons of Pembroke, NC; Bradley Jacobs of Baton Rouge, LA; Leslee (Harrison) Pressley of Greer, SC; Joseph Harris (Brooke Weik) of Youngsville, LA; Nicholas Harris and David Harris of Hoover, AL; Olivia Sprick of Kenner, LA; and Jessica Sprick of Baton Rouge, LA. Survived by one great grandchild, Roman Simmons.

Pallbearers will be Bradley Jacobs, Joseph Harris, Nick Harris, David Harris, Harrison Pressley, Dean Simmons and Wes McDonald. Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. James Odom, Dr. Harold Chastant, and Harold Domingue.

The family would like to express their appreciation to Dr. Stephen Salopek, the staffs of Lafayette General Hospital, Louisiana Extended Care Hospital, MedSource Home Health Care and the many other healthcare professionals who provided care for Harold over the last five months.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made in Harold's honor to the , St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, or the Lafayette Rotary Club.

Funeral Home

Delhomme Funeral Home - Lafayette
1011 Bertrand Drive Lafayette, LA 70506
(337) 235-9449

Published in the The Advertiser on Dec. 23, 2013